commander of u.s. forces in iraq general loy austin to lead the command which is responsible for operations of middle east and afghanistan. general austin was joined by u.s. command nominee general david rodriguez who is a top commander in afghanistan from 2007 to 2011. this hearing is chaired by carl levin of michigan. it is two hours. >> good morning everybody and welcome this morning that committee considers the nomination of two very distinguished officers to the two of the most active and challenging combatant commands. general lloyd austin united states army nominated to the commander u.s. central command, and general david rodriquez, u.s. army to be nominated to be commander of the u.s. africa command. fees' to combat and commands, centcom and africom are the centers of gravity for the military's operations to counter the threat of terrorism. both nominees have served the country with distinction, and i want to faint each of you for your decades of military service and a willingness to serve once again. i and stand general austin's life and rodriguez's life are with us this morning.